Renting room-by-room

Question from greg updated on 13th September 2019:

I have a five bed, five bath house which I want to rent by the room. Each room has a kitchenette also. There is a shared main living area, large kitchen and laundry facility.

My question is this: Am I allowed to run each room as a fixed term tenancy with up to two people in each room?

My property manager thinks not due to interpretation of the RTA clause 66b. She thinks that if six or more tenants occupy the building it becomes a boarding house.

However, the definition states that a boarding house must contain one or more boarding rooms.And a "boarding room" is merely a sleeping quarter whereas I would see each room more as a "studio apartment" (it being self contained with the ensuite and kitchenette).

Any clarification you could offer would be much appreciated.


Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

If you are letting by the room you are governed by the rules pertaining to a boarding house. Whatever you provide to a specific tenant is their private part of the building and other common facilities are shareable with tenants of other rooms. A “boarding room” is not “merely” for sleeping. It is a room used for sleeping and only by the particular tenant. I do not see any harm in you providing additional facilities to a tenant over and above the minimum.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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